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How to file a DBA in Arizona
A DBA ('doing business as'), also known as an 'assumed name', is not a legal requirement in Arizona so there is no need to file a DBA with the Arizona Corporate Commission. However, businesses can reserve a trading name for a fee, but remember this is not the same thing as filing a DBA application. Read below for answers to your questions about DBAs, plus important details and links, why you might consider reserving a trading name, and how a DBA can help or hurt you. If you need to research how to file a DBA in another U.S. state or territory, select it below.
Do I need a DBA in Arizona?
No. Arizona does not require that companies file a DBA or an 'assumed name' registration.
What is a DBA?
Every business has a legal name. For example, a partnership or sole proprietorship might operate under the legal name of the business owner or owners. A corporation, limited liability company (LLC) or other type of business entity might operate under the name defined in the articles of incorporation or articles of organization.
But, sometimes you don't want to operate your business under your registered legal name. There are many reasons for this. For example, the legal name might be confusing, unrelated to your business, or no longer descriptive of your business. Or you just might want a new name without changing your incorporation or registration documents.
If you do business under a name different from the legal name of your business, that is called an 'assumed name', 'fictitious business name', or 'trade name'. Legally, it's called a doing business as name (DBA).
You can operate your business under as many DBA names as you want - there are no limits. But, each DBA name must be registered in the state where you operate. This is required because the public has a legal right to know that a particular person or legal entity is conducting a business under a name that differs from its legal name.
If you want to learn more about legal business structures and get actionable insights on starting and building a successful, sustainable business, read this comprehensive guide on how to start a business.
And remember each DBA your register should have a unique brand identity so that people can easily remember your business.
What a DBA is not
Registering a DBA does not excuse you from forming a legal business entity. In fact, if you don't form a legal business entity and simply register a DBA with your state, the law assumes you're operating your business as a sole proprietorship.
While many business operate this way, there are significant disadvantages to operating as a sole proprietorship. For example, you will not have any limited liability protection from lawsuits when you operate your business as a sole proprietorship. And you'll be directly responsible for your business's debts and obligations.
An LLC, limited partnership (LP), limited liability partnership (LLP), or corporation grants the owner or owners important limited liability protections and insulates owners from the debts and liabilities of the business.
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How do I set up a DBA in Arizona?
You cannot set up a DBA in Arizona. It's not a legal requirement and the Arizona Corporate Commission will not accept DBA filings.
Where can I find the Arizona forms to reserve a trading name?
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How can I get a DBA in another state?
The process for filing a DBA is specific to each state.
Most states require the DBA name to be registered unless you are doing business under your personal name. Many states will allow you to register online.
Find your location below for specific instructions.
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